Liam Payne: what did Simon Cowell say about One Direction singer in unreleased X Factor footage?

The clip was released shortly after Liam Payne claimed in an interview that the reason One Direction was formed was due to a promise made to him by Simon Cowell

To celebrate the 12 year anniversary of One Direction, the X Factor has released never seen before footage showcasing the very moment the band was created.

The clip comes shortly after singer Liam Payne claimed that the band had been essentially created for him by X Factor judge and record executive Simon Cowell - however, it seems like that may not actually have been the case.

Did Liam Payne say One Direction was formed around him?

During an appearance on Logan Paul’s podcast, Impaulsive, that was released in June, Payne claimed that One Direction was basically created for him by X Factor judge Simon Cowell.

Payne said: “They stood there and picked us out… and from what I heard, the reason One Direction was made was because of Simon’s promise to me that “in two years I’ll make it work for you”.

“He started with my face and worked around the rest.

“I was the honorary member of One Direction. He told me that story himself at his house.”

Liam Payne attends Taste the Future Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on March 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

Payne first auditioned for the X Factor in 2008, when he was 14, and made it through the first round with his rendition of Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra.

He was ultimately cut from the show during the judges’ houses, but was encouraged by Cowell at the time to return to the show in two years, as he felt Payne wasn’t quite ready yet.

Payne followed Cowell’s advice and made his way back to the show in 2010, auditioning to judges Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and guest judge Natalie Imbruglia with the Michael Buble version of Cry Me a River.

Liam Payne attends the Royal Film Performance and World Premiere of ‘The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader’ at Odeon Leicester Square on November 30, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

His solo audition bagged him a standing ovation from Cowell, as well as four yeses - however, he failed to make it to the Boys category at the judges houses.

Clearly it wasn’t the end of the road for Payne, as he was placed with his fellow X Factor auditionees Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik to create One Direction.

The band were subsequently placed in the Groups category and were able to place third in the competition.

What did the new X Factor footage show?

The clip showed the X Factor judges sorting through a stack of headshots from male contestants, discussing who could be in an “imaginary boyband” together.

Guest judge Nicole Scherzinger can be seen moving Horan’s picture to the top of the table, and, after sorting through a few pictures, Styles’ headshot comes up.

Scherzinger can be heard saying “Oh, yes” and tapping Horan’s picture, prompting Walsh to add Styles to as yet unnamed boyband.

X-Factor band One Direction attend the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 World film premiere at Odeon Leicester Square on November 11, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

After Tomlinson’s photo is added to the lineup, Scherzinger says that they would make the “cutest boyband ever” and that “little girls are going to love them”.

She adds: “They’ve got just the right look and the right charisma on stage. I think they’ll be really great in a boyband together.”

What did Simon Cowell say about Liam Payne in the clip?

When Payne’s picture pops up, Cowell says that he was the “standout audition” and motions for his picture to be added to a different pile. He adds: “You don’t think he should be over there?”

To which Scherzinger says: “If he’s the standout, then he could be the leader. I think he would definitely shine.”

It’s here that Cowell doesn’t appear convinced about adding Payne to the group, commenting: “He thinks he’s better than anyone else in that list.”

Walsh then chimes in and says: “No, he does, Simon. He has the confidence. But he’s good, he’s consistent.”

(L-R) Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zain Malik and Louis Tomlinson of ‘One Direction’ attends the Very.co.uk Christmas Catwalk Show at Victoria House on November 24, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

It was then Walsh who finalised the future of One Direction by adding Malik as the final member, with Cowell commenting: “Now that is a good idea.”

So while Payne may have initially been thought of as the “leader” of One Direction, the claim he made about the group being built around him and “his face” doesn’t appear to be quite right.